Description : With the help of medicine and technology we are living longer than ever before. As human life spans have increased, the moral and political issues surrounding longevity have become more complex. Should we desire to live as long as possible? What are the social ramifications of longer lives? How does a longer life span change the way we think about the value of our lives and about death and dying? Christine Overall offers a clear and intelligent discussion of the philosophical and cultural issues surrounding this difficult and often emotionally charged issue. Her book is unique in its comprehensive presentation and evaluation of the arguments—both ancient and contemporary—for and against prolonging life. It also proposes a progressive social policy for responding to dramatic increases in life expectancy. Writing from a feminist perspective, Overall highlights the ways that our biases about race, class, and gender have affected our views of elderly people and longevity, and her policy recommendations represent an effort to overcome these biases. She also covers the arguments surrounding the question of the "duty to die" and includes a provocative discussion of immortality. After judiciously weighing the benefits and the risks of prolonging human life, Overall persuasively concludes that the length of life does matter and that its duration can make a difference to the quality and value of our lives. Her book will be an essential guide as we consider our social responsibilities, the meaning of human life, and the prospects of living longer.
Description : "Many scientists today are working to retard the aging process in humans so as to increase both life expectancy and the quality of life. Over the past decade impressive results have been achieved in targeting the mechanisms and pathways of aging. In The Quest for Human Longevity, Lewis D. Solomon considers these scientific studies by exploring the principal biomedical anti-aging techniques. The book also considers cutting edge research on mental enhancements and assesses the scientific doubts of skeptics. The Quest for Human Longevity is also about business. Solomon examines eight corporations pursuing various age-related interventions, profiling their scientific founders and top executives, and examining personnel, intellectual property, and financing for each firm. Academic scientists form the link between research and commerce. Solomon notes that the involvement of university scientists and researchers follows one of two models. The first is a traditional model in which scientists leave academia to work for a corporation or remain in academia and obtain business support for their research. The second is a modern model in which scientists use their intellectual property as a catalyst for acquiring equity interests in the firms they organize. Critics have pointed to the dangers of commercialized science, but Solomon's analysis, on balance, finds that the benefits outweigh the costs and that problems of secrecy and conflicts of interest can be addressed. If scientists succeed in unlocking the secrets of aging and developing drugs or therapies that will allow us to live decades longer, the consequences for society will include profound social, political, economic, and ethical questions. Solomon deals with the public policy aspects of significant life extension and looks at the conflict between those who advocate the acceptance of mortality and the partisans of life. The Quest for Human Longevity will be of interest to policymakers, sociologists, scientists, and studen"
Description : The proportion of elderly people continues to increase in the western world-nearly a quarter of the population will be over 65 years by the year 2050. Since aging is accompanied by an increase in diseases and by a deterioration in well-being, finding solutions to these social, medical and psychological problems is necessarily a major goal for society. Scientists and medical practitioners are therefore faced with the urgent task of increasing basic knowledge of the biological processes that cause aging. More resources must be put into this research in order to achieve better understanding of the cellular mechanisms that underlie the differences in life span between species and to answer the difficult questions of why some individuals age more quickly than others, and why some develop liver problems, some have heart problems, and others brain problems. The results of such a wide program of research will provide important information about the causes of many life-threatening and/ or debilitating diseases of old age; it will help find ways to prevent some of the ailments that result from aging, and it may well lead to discoveries enabling the prolongation of human life.
Description : Extensively revised and updated to reflect the current state of knowledge in the study of aging, this Fourth Edition offers a complete profile of the aging process at all levels, from molecules and cells to demography and evolution. Written by international experts in current basic and clinical aging research, this text includes aspects of individual, comparative, and differential aging, and discussions of theories and mechanisms of aging. This invaluable reference illustrates how bodily systems, organs, and functions are affected with aging, describes how genetic and environmental factors influence age-related changes, and addresses some of the clinical consequences of these changes for health and longevity. Well illustrated, with numerous tables and graphs, this book presents up-to-date information from internationally renowned experts in various bio-medical fields. New updated information includes: emphasis on emerging technologies and recent advances in biology and bioengineering that allow greater and longer independence of the elderly recent therapeutic developments in key diseases such as Alzheimer's, osteopenia, osteoporosis, high cholesterol, diabetes, gastritis, sexual impotence, and using transgenic animals as models of aging evaluation of the latest knowledge on the roles of oxidants and antioxidants, and correlates them with other aging-based theories expanded discussion of nutrition and physical exercise chapters on gene and stem cell interventions related to the aging process updated tables to reflect current trends, new research data, and up-to-date statistical information
Description : Welcome to the world's most unique and dynamic textbook on aging!Widely praised and adopted in previous editions, the Fifth Edition of Aging once again presents key issues in an engaging and accessible fashion. Organized unlike any other traditional textbook, author Harry R. Moody presents basic concepts followed by controversies, supported by carefully chosen adapted readings. The result is the most captivating introduction to gerontology available today.
Description : Do our lives have meaning? Should we create more people? Is death bad? Should we commit suicide? Would it be better to be immortal? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic? Since Life, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions first appeared, David Benatar's distinctive anthology designed to introduce students to the key existential questions of philosophy has won a devoted following among users in a variety of upper-level and even introductory courses. While many philosophers in the 'continental tradition'_those known as 'existentialists'_have engaged these issues at length and often with great popular appeal, English-speaking philosophers have had relatively little to say on these important questions. Yet, the methodology they bring to philosophical questions can, and occasionally has, been applied usefully to 'existential' questions. This volume draws together a representative sample of primarily English-speaking philosophers' reflections on life's big questions, divided into six sections, covering (1) the meaning of life, (2) creating people, (3) death, (4) suicide, (5) immortality, and (6) optimism and pessimism. These key readings are supplemented with helpful introductions, study questions, and suggestions for further reading, making the material accessible and interesting for students. In short, the book provides a singular introduction to the way that philosophy has dealt with the big questions of life that we are all tempted to ask.
Description : In the last three decades, the human body has gained increasing prominence in contemporary political debates, and it has become a central topic of modern social sciences and humanities. Modern technologies – such as organ transplants, stem-cell research, nanotechnology, cosmetic surgery and cryonics – have changed how we think about the body. In this collection of thirty original essays by leading figures in the field, these issues are explored across a number of theoretical and disciplinary perspectives, including pragmatism, feminism, queer theory, post-modernism, post-humanism, cultural sociology, philosophy and anthropology. A wide range of case studies, which include cosmetics, diet, organ transplants, racial bodies, masculinity and sexuality, eating disorders, religion and the sacred body, and disability, are used to appraise these different perspectives. In addition, this Handbook explores various epistemological approaches to the basic question: what is a body? It also offers a strongly themed range of chapters on empirical topics that are organized around religion, medicine, gender, technology and consumption. It also contributes to the debate over the globalization of the body: how have military technology, modern medicine, sport and consumption led to this contemporary obsession with matters corporeal? The Handbook’s clear, direct style will appeal to a wide undergraduate audience in the social sciences, particularly for those studying medical sociology, gender studies, sports studies, disability studies, social gerontology, or the sociology of religion. It will serve to consolidate the new field of body studies.
Description : DEATH, AMERICAN STYLE: A CULTURAL HISTORY OF DYING IN AMERICA is the first comprehensive cultural history to explore America’s uneasy relationship with death over the past century.
Description : More than 7 billion people inhabit the earth and all of them are subject to aging. This book is aimed at persons interested in a molecular explanation of how our cells age. Human Longevity: Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Bioenergetics, Molecular Biology, and Evolution is built on the proposition that we age as our mitochondria age. It suggests a revised version of Harman’s famous hypothesis featuring mitochondrial oxidative and energy stresses as the root causes of aging. Human cells are protected from the ravages of aging by a battery of defensive systems including some novel mechanisms against membrane oxidation introduced in this book. This concept is consistent with recent discoveries showing that mitochondria-targeted antioxidants prevent Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and traumatic brain disease in animal models of neurodegeneration. This book explores a unified theory of aging based on bioenergetics. It covers a variety of topics including an introduction to the science of human aging, the Darwinian selection of membranes enabling longevity, a revised mitochondrial membrane hypothesis of aging, and various mechanisms that protect human mitochondrial membranes, thereby enabling longevity.